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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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HSt Rst 12I

Rolf Stavnem (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Rekstefja 12’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 910.


text and translation

Hafglóð hilmir sáði
hjaldrríkr ok gaf skjǫldu
— stétthrings stofnum veitti
stikka — vôpn ok skikkjur.
Stórráðr steinda knǫrru
stillir fekk, en ekki
hildings hœfði mildi.
Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna.

Hjaldrríkr hilmir sáði {hafglóð} ok gaf skjǫldu, vôpn ok skikkjur; veitti {stofnum {stétthrings}} stikka. Stórráðr stillir fekk steinda knǫrru, en ekki hœfði mildi hildings. Hann vas ríkstr konungmanna …
‘The battle-mighty prince sowed sea-ember [GOLD] and gave away shields, weapons and cloaks; he provided cloak-pins (?) for the poles of the path-sword [SHIELD > WARRIORS]. The ambitious ruler gave painted merchant ships, and nothing could match the generosity of the war-leader. He was the mightiest of royal men …

notes and context

The stanza follows a passage in which the narrator praises Óláfr’s strength, prowess and generosity.

There are verbal echoes of the late C11th Steinn ÓldrII in this stanza and more widely in Rst. The phrase steinda knǫrru ‘painted merchant ships’ (l. 5) matches Óldr 13/2II, while the rhyme hilding- : mildi (l. 7) matches Steinn Óldr 16/4II and the stef line hann vas ríkstr konungmanna ‘he was the mightiest of royal men’ (l. 8) echoes Óldr 16/6II hanns fremstr konungmanna ‘he is the foremost of kings/royal men’; cf. also Note to st. 9/8 above. The use of a split refrain also recalls ÓldrII, as does the use of a rhetorical question to emphasise the hero’s unmatched generosity (Rst 32/1-4 cf. Óldr 13/6-7II). — [8]: For this line of the refrain, see Note to st. 9/8.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja 12: AI, 546, BI, 528, Skald I, 257, NN §§2095-6; ÓT 1958-2000, II, 213 (ch. 234), Flat 1860-8, I, 456; SHI 3, 252-3, CPB II, 297, Wisén 1886-9, I, 47, Finnur Jónsson 1893b, 164, Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 225-30.


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